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IAF grounds entire Sukhoi fleet after crash


Su-30MKI of the Indian Air Force (IAF). Photo: MoD/DPR

NEW DELHI (PTI): A day after a Sukhoi fighter crashed, Indian Air Force's fleet of around 120 SU-30MKI aircraft will remain on ground and they will resume flying only after its flight safety officials give clearance.

The checks in the aircraft fleet have been necessitated after one of the Su-30MKIs from the Lohegaon air base crashed near Pune on Tuesday, IAF sources said here Wednesday.

The sources said the aircraft will remain on ground till the time flight safety authorities are satisfied and allow the aircraft to fly, they said.

After the order, none of IAF's Su-30MKIs deployed at its bases in Pune, Bareilly, Chabua, Tezpur and Jodhpur took off for flying.

The development has come at a time when IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne visited airbases in Chabua and Tezpur to oversee the development of Su-30 infrastructure there.

IAF has deployed two squadrons of Su-30s at Tezpur and Chabua in the recent past to strengthen its presence in the North-Eastern regions of the country.

The IAF chief was on a three-day visit to the North-East where he first visited the Shillong-based Eastern Air Command headquarters.

IAF has so far inducted around 120 Su-30 fighters and has placed orders for a total of 272 of them. The IAF will induct all these aircraft by the end of the 2015-16.

The aircraft have crashed thrice since their induction into the IAF in late 90s.

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